Value fashion retail Ethel Austin has gone into administration.

Menzies Corporate Restructuring has been drafted in and Philip Duffy and David Whitehouse appointed joint administrators. It is understood they hope to trade the business for the time being in the hope of finding a buyer.

The 300-store business was founded by Ethel and George Austin from a council house in Anfield in 1934.

The first shop opened in 1936 and family links ended in 2002 when the business was sold for £55 million. It was again two years later for £122.5 million, but has struggled for some time.

Lower clothing prices at high street giants such as Marks & Spencer, the supermarkets’ growing strength in clothing and greater fashionability at value rivals such as Peacocks and Primark all took a toll on Ethel Austin.